Constructing a Global Framework for Analysis of Social Exclusion From and Within Learning Systems

Lead Research Organisation: Washington University in St Louis
Department Name: School of Medicine

Abstract

The role of education as a process for fighting discrimination, promoting social justice and overcoming poverty has been indisputable through focus on marginalization and 'educational poverty' and its implications for well-being and human development. However, growing literature is showing that education is failing the most vulnerable groups, such as girls by falling short on promises of equity and social justice. With recognised associations between low literacy and poverty and vulnerability, there is urgent need to focus on who is receiving what education. In this research we aim to fill a gap that exists between idealistic policies that define equality as a main objective of education, and assessment of progress that remains focussed on isolated indicators of equity in access to structures. To achieve this, we need a theoretical and methodological framework that deciphers processes of social exclusion not just from, but also within learning systems. At the theoretical level, our research will draw upon various frameworks. Firstly, within broad realms of social justice, our research will look at equality with reference to the capabilities approach (CA) for a nuanced and multidimensional perspective within which quality of human life, vulnerability and value of education can be appraised. The CA focuses strongly on aspects of developing agency and expanding choices and freedoms and will be foundational to our conceptual framework for gauging education policies by allowing a comprehensive analysis of the instrumental social, process and empowerment/distributive roles of education. Secondly, the concept of social exclusion will constitute the backbone of our analysis framework. In order to better decipher social exclusion, theories of social psychology will be crucial to our aim of unpacking social relations, beliefs and practices amidst which inclusive practices are played out and ensuring the social acceptability and 'embeddedness' of inclusive initiatives. Thirdly, our research will question the prevalent discourses in the field of education. We argue that education policies and assessments, especially in LMICs, continue to be designed solely based on primary indicators of literacy and numeracy achievement, maintaining the disconnect between objectives viewed as idealistic and indicator-based evaluations of what constitutes 'progress'. There is a need for a different type of information to understand exclusion processes. The research methodology will strongly draw on the field of participatory research to better determine meaningful learning for children with different vulnerabilities. Firstly, in order to carry out an extensive systematic review, we will use the EPPI-Centre methodology, which provides specific tools to appraise various types of evidence on assessment of quality education. Secondly, using data on education from various case control surveys we will analyse inequalities that persist between individuals with various types of disabilities as well as girls, in order to illustrate the complexity of inequality. Thirdly, based on the findings from the previous stages, we will build a conceptual framework and propose methodology to be piloted in the next phases of the research. This methodology will use innovative techniques based on social systems dynamics thinking and propose new associations of mixed methods that look beyond isolated indicators to decipher the causal factors that sustain and perpetuate social exclusion. Finally, the research will ensure user involvement from various partners by constituting a Research Advisory Group that will provide feedback on all phases on the project. This group, consisting of policy makers and NGOs working on the field will also ensure that findings and reports are widely disseminated and assist in determining field sites for pilot testing of the framework in the next phases.

Planned Impact

The findings of the research will be shared with diverse audiences and in usable formats in order to ensure wide dissemination and discussion. The investigators of this research have over 10 years of experience in the fields of education and inclusive development and will leverage this in order to ensure involvement of partners of various profiles from the very onset. During the 4 months preceding the start of the ESRC-DFID funding (January to April 2015), the team will set up a Research Advisory Group consisting of academics, policy-makers and field implementers to provide guidance and feedback. This phase is crucial for the buy-in of various partners, as well as for ensuring that the research process advances in close collaboration with experts, implementers and assessors who are at the forefront of issues of quality and equality in education.
The support provided on this project by the various partners is a pre-requisite to the success of this research. The PI has worked with UNESCO-Education sector on various issues since 2002. Currently, she is serving as moderator for the online discussion and survey on Inclusive Education on the WSIS-Knowledge Communities forum (http://www.wsis-community.org) in order to better understand the challenges faced by various actors. She is working with the team charged with quality inclusive education to ensure that research is not just relevant to policy questions but that it is made available in a timely and usable manner. The PI has also obtained the interest and support of UNICEF (New York- Education Section and Tunisia Field Office) to provide feedback on the research and disseminate the findings and conclusions. Handicap International and Leonard Cheshire Disability, 2 international NGOs working on questions of vulnerability and inclusive education have expressed strong interest in the research project and will contribute to the discussions of findings and work with the PI to identify possible sites for next phase of the research. The investigators are honorary researchers with the Leonard Cheshire Disability and Inclusive Development Centre at University College London (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/lc-ccr) and will liaise with the team to develop the framework. Finally, the team will work closely with the Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre (EPPI-Centre) at Institute of Education, London in order to carry out and publish the findings of the systematic review on social exclusion assessment within education (https://eppi.ioe.ac.uk/cms/).
The documents summarizing and discussing the findings of the research will be published in different formats. For academic partners, peer-reviewed publications as well as an in-depth report of the systematic review will detail the theoretical and methodological analyses. For policy makers and field implementers, executive summaries of the findings as well as technical fiches detailing the methodological framework will be produced.
For extensive dissemination and discussion of the findings and reports, the team will ensure publication in various sources. For academic audience the articles will be published in peer-reviewed journals. The researchers will also present the findings at the Human Development and Capabilities Association Annual conference in September 2016. They will also organise a webinar to discuss the implications of the findings with experts on quality education and the capabilities approach. The executive summaries and technical fiches will be made accessible on the Washington University in St Louis (WUSTL) website and shared through the partners (UNESCO, UNICEF, Handicap International, Leonard Cheshire Disability). A presentation package will be constructed to share the framework with field partners during the next phase of the research.

Publications

10 25 50

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Bakhshi P. Disability, poverty and schooling in post civil war context in Sierra Leone in International Journal of Inclusive Education

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Trani J (2015) Disability and Poverty in Morocco and Tunisia: A Multidimensional Approach in Journal of Human Development and Capabilities

 
Description 1. AIM 1 focused on reviewing the evidence on social exclusion in education. At the theoretical level there is a need for clarification of the concepts of inclusion, inclusive education and social exclusion which are used interchangeably and often with reference to questions of access. In terms of national and international education policy, there is contrast between narrow focus of inclusion in education solely on issues relating to disability and focus on broader questions of multidimensional vulnerability. In terms of assessment, moving beyond traditional perspectives of basic learning outcomes (literacy and numeracy), there is a need for new family of dynamic "indicators" to unpack inclusion.
2. Our main achievement pertaining to AIM 2 has been to fill an evidence gap by making available data on education of vulnerable groups from low-income (India) and middle-income (Morocco and Tunisia) countries as well as from some of the most difficult conflict and post-conflict contexts (Sierra Leone, Darfur and Afghanistan). Our results from various large-scale household surveys show that the patterns of exclusion across countries present similarities in terms of exclusion and lower learning achievement across countries. However, disability combines uniquely with other factors (cast, gender, religious and ethnic identities) to create dynamics that need to be understood contextually in order to define relevant policy recommendations for children with disabilities.
3. The main challenge of the research was defined in AIM 3: to build an innovative framework to decipher processes that sustain social exclusion using conclusions from the previous aims. Taking a capability approach to viewing quality education our review, data analysis and discussions have made clear that the focus on learning beyond questions of access will entail an in depth understanding of what roles education plays: an instrumental economic role in supporting employment, a non-economic instrumental role in enhancing the capacity of the educated citizenry for critical thinking and public debate, an instrumental role in promoting an expanded individual social network and allowing more interaction with others, an intrinsic and empowering role of the poor and the marginalized. From the very onset we were aware that building a framework was the most challenging aspect of the research and it requires integration of various perspectives, validation with field partners as well as confirmation through data collection and analyses. We believe that we have carried out the foundational work that was essential in order to present a dynamic framework for deciphering exclusion to be validated.
4. AIM 4: Throughout our research process we have made it a priority to engage with policy makers (UNICEF, UNESCO, UIS) and field implementers (Handicap International, LCCDID) and orient our work to remain relevant, as well as define the next steps of the research. The PI is currently leading a study funded by UNICEF on education of children with disabilities in Morocco. The team has also submitted a research proposal to fight social exclusion through strengthening social accountability in partnership with University of Cambridge, University of Mannheim, Swedish Committee for Afghanistan and National Rural Support Programme in Pakistan.
Exploitation Route We are making our findings and conclusions available through a web portal on the Washington University website. The research briefs are being disseminated through various forums (ESRC-DFID Impact Initiative Delhi meeting 11th August 2016; UNESCO Institute of Statistics' website) and partner organisations (Leonard Cheshire Disability and Inclusive Development; Handicap International) and conferences (CIES and HDCA 2016). With UNESCO education sector, we have engaged in international policy discussions to forward the SDG 4 agenda in terms of inclusion and equity. The PI has joined a high-level experts group tasked with drafting the policy guidelines for inclusion in education. Throughout our research process we have made it a priority to engage with policy makers and field implementers and orient our work to remain relevant, as well as define the next steps of the research. With partners NGOs we have defined projects to ensure impact and continuation of the research on social exclusion within education. The PI is currently leading a study funded by UNICEF on education of children with disabilities in Morocco. The team has also submitted a research proposal to strengthen social accountability with University of Cambridge, University of Mannheim, Swedish Committee for Afghanistan and National Rural Support Programme in Pakistan.
Sectors Education,Healthcare,Other

 
Description AIM 1 consisted in screening the existing evidence in order to build a framework for analysis of social exclusion in education. We remain committed to continuing with the next phase of the review to focus on assessments of exclusion process. From September to December 2016, PI will dedicate 10% of time towards continuing the review with the support of students from the laboratory on social exclusion as well as the Social Systems Design Lab at Washington University in St Louis. A second review brief will be available by December 2016. In partnership with UNICEF (North Africa Office) and Handicap International (Morocco), the PI has undertaken an extensive study on inclusion within education in 722 primary schools and 187 secondary schools in the southern region of Souss-Massaa in Morocco (May-October 2016). The findings from the review have enabled us to elaborate tools to gather qualitative evidence using the framework for understanding exclusion/inclusion within schools with specific focus on the transition from primary to secondary school. A research brief will be available in French, English and in Arabic by December 2016 and will be disseminated through the Handicap International, UNICEF and Washington University in St Louis' websites. In October 2016 the PI will travel to UNESCO-Paris for a brown bag discussion to present the progress and findings of the review and to ensure that the phases 4 and 5 of the review continue to respond to crucial policy questions, through focus on specific tools for assessment of the process of social exclusion. Finally, in collaboration with the EPPI-Centre, we will co-publish a methods paper on reviewing evidence to build a framework for analysis using systems dynamics before the end of 2016. AIM 2 was related to carrying out statistical analysis from data gathered over the past decade on disability and education. 3 peer-reviewed papers are published, 2 are under consideration and 2 manuscripts are in preparation to be submitted by September 2016. We presented selected findings from analyses of data at a panel: Mapping Patterns of Exclusion: Examining Education Data from Low and Middle Income Countries at the Comparative International Education Society (CIES) conference, Vancouver (March 2016). We will present a theoretical paper at the Human Development Capabilities Association (HDCA) conference, Tokyo (September 2016): Deciphering social exclusion within learning systems: assessing capability deprivation; strengthening collective capabilities. We will also organise a webinar with the members of the thematic groups on disability and education in November 2016 to discuss the conclusions of the research and discuss future implications. UNESCO INSTITUTE for STATISTICS (UIS): All the country policy briefs will be made available through the UIS platforms in order to ensure that data from the various surveys is used to inform policy and assessment of inclusion. AIM 3 which looked at building a theoretical and practical framework for analysis of social exclusion in education, was the most challenging aspect of the research. We have carried out extensive foundational work towards this goal and created the impetus to take the next steps of the research. Next steps are: (i) Working with the Social Systems Design Lab students during fall 2016 to complete the review of evidence by expanding the dynamic model through focus on assessment of interventions and programmes; (ii) Using data collected from the UNICEF-Handicap International study in Morocco 2016, we will explore the possibility of establishing a simulation model with information from school-based data. We will present and discuss a theoretical paper on social exclusion and capability deprivation during the Human Development Capabilities Association Conference in Tokyo, Japan 31st August- 3rd September, 2016. Presenting the framework of inclusion in education to policy makers in Morocco in October 2016 in order to validate and expand the dynamics within a given cultural and political context. AIM 4 entails building strong engagement from policy makers and field implementers. We have worked diligently to ensuring creation of strong synergies between research policy and practice. The research findings will be shared with UNICEF disability unit, New York, and through a brown bag presentation in Fall 2016 at UNESCO-Paris and shared with UNESCO regional office in Bangkok. The research will also be disseminated with support from The Impact Initiative, Delhi Event, on August 11th 2016. We are also ensuring dissemination through field partners. In October 2016, in partnership with Handicap International and with support from UNICEF-Morocco, the PI will conduct workshops on education policy for children with disabilities with the Academy for Education, Ministry of Education of the southern region of Souss-Massaa. The research findings will be disseminated through partners networks that the research team has collaborated with in the past: ACBAR (Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief and Development (www.acbar.org ) education cluster in Afghanistan; Leonard Cheshire Centre for Disability and Inclusive Development; Handicap International, inclusive education focal points in Luxemburg (French speaking) and UK offices. Future research opportunities have been identified by building collaborations in academia as well as with field partners for continuation of research on social exclusion and education. PI is currently submitting a proposal to the FIRAH (International Foundation of Applied Disability Research http://www.firah.org/index.php?lang=en) to carry out research on social exclusion and education in Tunisia in partnership with Handicap International. In partnership with Cambridge University (UK), University of Mannheim (Germany), Swedish Committee for Afghanistan and the National Rural Support Program in Pakistan, the research team has proposed an extensive study on social accountability of education quality and social exclusion of children with disabilities in community-based rural schools.
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Education,Other
Impact Types Policy & public services

 
Description Contribution to the UN Flagship Report to be published in 2018
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact As the mandate for this report calls for a focus on internationally agreed development goals and the provisions of CRPD (A/RES/69/142), the SDGs and CRPD will constitute the main frameworks for this report. The structure of the report will be based on the SDG goals and targets relevant for persons with disabilities, and cover in each chapter related provisions of CRPD and other international legislation relevant for the implementation of the respective SDG. Each chapter will cover: international legislation for this topic, including CRPD articles which are relevant to shed a disability perspective; UN activities in implementation these SDGs for persons with disabilities (may also include also examples of implementation from civil society and from private sector, if any); national policies/programmes to implement this SDG and related CRPD provisions for persons with disabilities; implementation of this goal for social groups and invisible disabilities; situation of persons with disabilities by reflecting on status and trends Cross-cutting issues across the chapters will include: (i) accessibility; (ii) the situation of social groups and vulnerable persons as defined in the 2030 Agenda (children with disabilities, youth with disabilities, older persons with disabilities, indigenous with disabilities, people living with HIV/AIDS with disabilities, refugees and internally displaced persons and migrants with disabilities).
 
Description Discussion of findings of survey on inclusive education in Sous Massaa, Morocco
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
 
Description Expert Consultation Meeting for Inclusion in Education: Discussion and validation of the UNESCO policy Guidelines on inclusion and equity in Education (UNESCO Paris 23rd-24th May 2016)
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Participation in Regional Seminar, Morocco
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
 
Description Participation in experts meeting on inclusion in education
Amount € 1,000 (EUR)
Organisation United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization 
Sector Public
Country Global
Start 05/2016 
End 05/2016
 
Description Raising Learning Outcomes- Call 3
Amount £700,000 (GBP)
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Department ESRC-DFID Joint Fund
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2018 
End 12/2021
 
Title Using Systems Dynamics methodology to Review Evidence on Social Exclusion in Education 
Description During the 3rd stage of the review of evidence, the research team reviewed 24 articles on national education policy with respect to inclusive education and social exclusion in education. The articles for study were selected following the key-wording process and given to a team of three students for analysis from a systems thinking perspective. The team executed the following steps to create a system model of inclusive education. First the team reviewed the system modelling process used by Faustine Williams to analyse Global Cancer Disparities . This model was a causal loop diagram that highlighted important stocks, and was accompanied by a variable analysis that identified important sub-systems from the larger model. The three-member research team divided articles so that each article would be read by two researchers prior to discussion and analysis. Researchers first reviewed the article abstracts for key themes and potential variables. Researchers then performed a thorough reading of articles, making notes of relationships between variables and concepts and identifying potential stocks for the model. The research team then collectively created a first draft of the model. 1. To start, the team elicited variables and clustered them into groups based on stakeholders (teachers, schools, students, community, parents). 2. The team identified two key parallel stock flows: • Enrolment/Access - children in school ?school-aged children out of school. • Quality of Education - students in school not receiving quality education ? students receiving quality education. 3. The team decided to focus the model only on the second flow, which focuses on quality of education that students receive in schools. 4. Based on this flow, the team built a draft model, starting with teaching as the focus area and building out to other stakeholders, including the role of students and the community context that affects schooling. 5. The team then built the Causal Loop Diagram using Systems Dynamics Analysis for policy related documents 6. The model was then translated into a digital format using StellaPro. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact We submitted a report on the review of evidence to the EPPI-Centre, University College London in June 2016. The report contains our review model and is currently being considered for open access publication on the EPPI-Centre website by end of 2016. 
 
Description Collaboration to ensure dissemination of findings and recommendations through the Leonard Cheshire Disability and Inclusive Development Centre (UCL) 
Organisation University College London
Department Leonard Cheshire Centre for Disability and Inclusive Development
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Dr Maria Kett is an advisor for the research and is providing inputs on the various phases of the review. She has also facilitated in reaching out to the Leonard Cheshire field offices in order to identify relevant resources.
Collaborator Contribution The PI and Co-I have met with Dr Maria Kett twice during the past year to discuss dissemination plan for the briefs describing the main findings. In fall 2016 we will meet again with Dr Kett and Prof. Groce to ensure that the material is disseminated through the 50 Leonard Cheshire field offices.
Impact The data analysed by the research team from India, Sierra Leone and Darfur was collected during the period 2009-2012 by Leonard Cheshire Disability and Inclusive Development Centre (the Co-I) when the Co-I (Jean Francois Trani) was senior research associate at the centre. Dr Kett and Prof Groce have continued to provide inputs and feedbacks on our research and will be strong partners to ensure that findings are disseminated and taken up by field partners.
Start Year 2011
 
Description Designing research on education of children with disabilities in Afghanistan and Pakistan 
Organisation National Rural Support Programme
Country Pakistan 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The PI met with Prof. Nidhi Singal, who is also a grant holder from ESRC DFID in order to discuss possible synergies between our research on education of children with disabilities. In 2016, the PI and the co-I submitted together a new grant proposal to the ESRC-DFID (Raising Learning Outcomes in Education Systems Research Programme) titled 'Strengthening schools accountability mechanisms through participation: addressing education quality and equity in Afghanistan and Pakistan'.
Collaborator Contribution We presented a joint panel at the CIES conference, Vancouver 2016. The focus of this panel was on critically engaging with the key debates in inclusive education (IE), with a particular focus on education of children with disabilities in Southern contexts. In recent years, focus on issues relating to the education of children with disabilities has gathered increased momentum not only in relation to the denial of basic human rights, but also due to the real human cost of educational exclusion. The World Education Forum 2015, acknowledges this when it notes that "No education target should be considered met unless met by all", and goes on to note an explicit focus on "those with disabilities". While these declarations have been important in pushing forward the agenda of educating children with disabilities, there is still very little clarity of how this is best achieved, especially in ways that are equitable and lead to positive learning outcomes. The current debates around education of children with disabilities tend to be subsumed under the concept of "inclusive education". Coined in the 1990s, Inclusive Education has gathered increased currency in international discourses and national plans. The ways in which inclusive education is conceptualised and operationalized has been largely anchored in frameworks supported by developed economies. In recent years, a steadily growing body of scholarship and research evidence has begun to critically examine the central assumptions underpinning the focus on inclusive education and there are growing calls for developing a more contextually rich understanding of ways in which to promote the education of children with disabilities. In order to examine this in more detail, the main questions addressed in this panel were: 1) What role does "inclusive education" play in changing education and development discourse? 2) What are the key issues and concerns in relation to education of children with disabilities in Southern contexts, and the opportunities these settings provide for a re-examination of the international discourse? In 2016, we jointly applied to the ESRC-DFID :Raising Learning Outcomes in Education Systems Research Programme" call. Our proposal investigates the impact of a Community Based System Dynamic (CBSD) intervention CBSD to improve social accountability in Community Based Schools (CBSs) of Afghanistan and Pakistan. CBSD is a participatory method for involving communities - in our case students, parents, teachers and school staff - to identify shared innovative solutions to pressing and complex local problems identified in the system and to plan and test those solutions before proposing changes on a large scale in social policies. This research project involves two major NGOs, National Rural Support Program (NRSP) and Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) that have been promoting access to quality education through the creation of CBSs embedded within school governance systems since 1992 and 2006 respectively.
Impact We will publish the contribution made at this conference in a peer-reviewed journal. New proposal entitled "Strengthening schools accountability mechanisms through participation: addressing education quality and equity in Afghanistan and Pakistan" outcomes: By examining how participatory social accountability may improve learning outcomes of disadvantaged children in remote areas of two LICs, through a series of complex processes associated with school management and teacher motivation, our study contributes to the ongoing debate about quality education by introducing a low-cost, easy to scale participatory method for CBSs management. Both SCA and NRSP education staff will be trained in depth to become facilitators of CBSD methods to conduct Group Model Building - a CBSD method- sessions with School Management Committees (SMCs). The intervention could potentially be scaled up in SMCs governing 516 schools and 61,500 students in Afghanistan 1820 schools and 84,541 students in Pakistan. Findings will be presented at meetings with representatives of ministries of education, UN agencies, NGOs working in the field of education and organisations of persons with disabilities in both countries as well as in international conferences and published in social science and economic journals.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Designing research on education of children with disabilities in Afghanistan and Pakistan 
Organisation Swedish Committee for Afghanistan
Country Afghanistan 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The PI met with Prof. Nidhi Singal, who is also a grant holder from ESRC DFID in order to discuss possible synergies between our research on education of children with disabilities. In 2016, the PI and the co-I submitted together a new grant proposal to the ESRC-DFID (Raising Learning Outcomes in Education Systems Research Programme) titled 'Strengthening schools accountability mechanisms through participation: addressing education quality and equity in Afghanistan and Pakistan'.
Collaborator Contribution We presented a joint panel at the CIES conference, Vancouver 2016. The focus of this panel was on critically engaging with the key debates in inclusive education (IE), with a particular focus on education of children with disabilities in Southern contexts. In recent years, focus on issues relating to the education of children with disabilities has gathered increased momentum not only in relation to the denial of basic human rights, but also due to the real human cost of educational exclusion. The World Education Forum 2015, acknowledges this when it notes that "No education target should be considered met unless met by all", and goes on to note an explicit focus on "those with disabilities". While these declarations have been important in pushing forward the agenda of educating children with disabilities, there is still very little clarity of how this is best achieved, especially in ways that are equitable and lead to positive learning outcomes. The current debates around education of children with disabilities tend to be subsumed under the concept of "inclusive education". Coined in the 1990s, Inclusive Education has gathered increased currency in international discourses and national plans. The ways in which inclusive education is conceptualised and operationalized has been largely anchored in frameworks supported by developed economies. In recent years, a steadily growing body of scholarship and research evidence has begun to critically examine the central assumptions underpinning the focus on inclusive education and there are growing calls for developing a more contextually rich understanding of ways in which to promote the education of children with disabilities. In order to examine this in more detail, the main questions addressed in this panel were: 1) What role does "inclusive education" play in changing education and development discourse? 2) What are the key issues and concerns in relation to education of children with disabilities in Southern contexts, and the opportunities these settings provide for a re-examination of the international discourse? In 2016, we jointly applied to the ESRC-DFID :Raising Learning Outcomes in Education Systems Research Programme" call. Our proposal investigates the impact of a Community Based System Dynamic (CBSD) intervention CBSD to improve social accountability in Community Based Schools (CBSs) of Afghanistan and Pakistan. CBSD is a participatory method for involving communities - in our case students, parents, teachers and school staff - to identify shared innovative solutions to pressing and complex local problems identified in the system and to plan and test those solutions before proposing changes on a large scale in social policies. This research project involves two major NGOs, National Rural Support Program (NRSP) and Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) that have been promoting access to quality education through the creation of CBSs embedded within school governance systems since 1992 and 2006 respectively.
Impact We will publish the contribution made at this conference in a peer-reviewed journal. New proposal entitled "Strengthening schools accountability mechanisms through participation: addressing education quality and equity in Afghanistan and Pakistan" outcomes: By examining how participatory social accountability may improve learning outcomes of disadvantaged children in remote areas of two LICs, through a series of complex processes associated with school management and teacher motivation, our study contributes to the ongoing debate about quality education by introducing a low-cost, easy to scale participatory method for CBSs management. Both SCA and NRSP education staff will be trained in depth to become facilitators of CBSD methods to conduct Group Model Building - a CBSD method- sessions with School Management Committees (SMCs). The intervention could potentially be scaled up in SMCs governing 516 schools and 61,500 students in Afghanistan 1820 schools and 84,541 students in Pakistan. Findings will be presented at meetings with representatives of ministries of education, UN agencies, NGOs working in the field of education and organisations of persons with disabilities in both countries as well as in international conferences and published in social science and economic journals.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Designing research on education of children with disabilities in Afghanistan and Pakistan 
Organisation University of Cambridge
Department Department of Public Health and Primary Care
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The PI met with Prof. Nidhi Singal, who is also a grant holder from ESRC DFID in order to discuss possible synergies between our research on education of children with disabilities. In 2016, the PI and the co-I submitted together a new grant proposal to the ESRC-DFID (Raising Learning Outcomes in Education Systems Research Programme) titled 'Strengthening schools accountability mechanisms through participation: addressing education quality and equity in Afghanistan and Pakistan'.
Collaborator Contribution We presented a joint panel at the CIES conference, Vancouver 2016. The focus of this panel was on critically engaging with the key debates in inclusive education (IE), with a particular focus on education of children with disabilities in Southern contexts. In recent years, focus on issues relating to the education of children with disabilities has gathered increased momentum not only in relation to the denial of basic human rights, but also due to the real human cost of educational exclusion. The World Education Forum 2015, acknowledges this when it notes that "No education target should be considered met unless met by all", and goes on to note an explicit focus on "those with disabilities". While these declarations have been important in pushing forward the agenda of educating children with disabilities, there is still very little clarity of how this is best achieved, especially in ways that are equitable and lead to positive learning outcomes. The current debates around education of children with disabilities tend to be subsumed under the concept of "inclusive education". Coined in the 1990s, Inclusive Education has gathered increased currency in international discourses and national plans. The ways in which inclusive education is conceptualised and operationalized has been largely anchored in frameworks supported by developed economies. In recent years, a steadily growing body of scholarship and research evidence has begun to critically examine the central assumptions underpinning the focus on inclusive education and there are growing calls for developing a more contextually rich understanding of ways in which to promote the education of children with disabilities. In order to examine this in more detail, the main questions addressed in this panel were: 1) What role does "inclusive education" play in changing education and development discourse? 2) What are the key issues and concerns in relation to education of children with disabilities in Southern contexts, and the opportunities these settings provide for a re-examination of the international discourse? In 2016, we jointly applied to the ESRC-DFID :Raising Learning Outcomes in Education Systems Research Programme" call. Our proposal investigates the impact of a Community Based System Dynamic (CBSD) intervention CBSD to improve social accountability in Community Based Schools (CBSs) of Afghanistan and Pakistan. CBSD is a participatory method for involving communities - in our case students, parents, teachers and school staff - to identify shared innovative solutions to pressing and complex local problems identified in the system and to plan and test those solutions before proposing changes on a large scale in social policies. This research project involves two major NGOs, National Rural Support Program (NRSP) and Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) that have been promoting access to quality education through the creation of CBSs embedded within school governance systems since 1992 and 2006 respectively.
Impact We will publish the contribution made at this conference in a peer-reviewed journal. New proposal entitled "Strengthening schools accountability mechanisms through participation: addressing education quality and equity in Afghanistan and Pakistan" outcomes: By examining how participatory social accountability may improve learning outcomes of disadvantaged children in remote areas of two LICs, through a series of complex processes associated with school management and teacher motivation, our study contributes to the ongoing debate about quality education by introducing a low-cost, easy to scale participatory method for CBSs management. Both SCA and NRSP education staff will be trained in depth to become facilitators of CBSD methods to conduct Group Model Building - a CBSD method- sessions with School Management Committees (SMCs). The intervention could potentially be scaled up in SMCs governing 516 schools and 61,500 students in Afghanistan 1820 schools and 84,541 students in Pakistan. Findings will be presented at meetings with representatives of ministries of education, UN agencies, NGOs working in the field of education and organisations of persons with disabilities in both countries as well as in international conferences and published in social science and economic journals.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Designing research on education of children with disabilities in Afghanistan and Pakistan 
Organisation University of Mannheim
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The PI met with Prof. Nidhi Singal, who is also a grant holder from ESRC DFID in order to discuss possible synergies between our research on education of children with disabilities. In 2016, the PI and the co-I submitted together a new grant proposal to the ESRC-DFID (Raising Learning Outcomes in Education Systems Research Programme) titled 'Strengthening schools accountability mechanisms through participation: addressing education quality and equity in Afghanistan and Pakistan'.
Collaborator Contribution We presented a joint panel at the CIES conference, Vancouver 2016. The focus of this panel was on critically engaging with the key debates in inclusive education (IE), with a particular focus on education of children with disabilities in Southern contexts. In recent years, focus on issues relating to the education of children with disabilities has gathered increased momentum not only in relation to the denial of basic human rights, but also due to the real human cost of educational exclusion. The World Education Forum 2015, acknowledges this when it notes that "No education target should be considered met unless met by all", and goes on to note an explicit focus on "those with disabilities". While these declarations have been important in pushing forward the agenda of educating children with disabilities, there is still very little clarity of how this is best achieved, especially in ways that are equitable and lead to positive learning outcomes. The current debates around education of children with disabilities tend to be subsumed under the concept of "inclusive education". Coined in the 1990s, Inclusive Education has gathered increased currency in international discourses and national plans. The ways in which inclusive education is conceptualised and operationalized has been largely anchored in frameworks supported by developed economies. In recent years, a steadily growing body of scholarship and research evidence has begun to critically examine the central assumptions underpinning the focus on inclusive education and there are growing calls for developing a more contextually rich understanding of ways in which to promote the education of children with disabilities. In order to examine this in more detail, the main questions addressed in this panel were: 1) What role does "inclusive education" play in changing education and development discourse? 2) What are the key issues and concerns in relation to education of children with disabilities in Southern contexts, and the opportunities these settings provide for a re-examination of the international discourse? In 2016, we jointly applied to the ESRC-DFID :Raising Learning Outcomes in Education Systems Research Programme" call. Our proposal investigates the impact of a Community Based System Dynamic (CBSD) intervention CBSD to improve social accountability in Community Based Schools (CBSs) of Afghanistan and Pakistan. CBSD is a participatory method for involving communities - in our case students, parents, teachers and school staff - to identify shared innovative solutions to pressing and complex local problems identified in the system and to plan and test those solutions before proposing changes on a large scale in social policies. This research project involves two major NGOs, National Rural Support Program (NRSP) and Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) that have been promoting access to quality education through the creation of CBSs embedded within school governance systems since 1992 and 2006 respectively.
Impact We will publish the contribution made at this conference in a peer-reviewed journal. New proposal entitled "Strengthening schools accountability mechanisms through participation: addressing education quality and equity in Afghanistan and Pakistan" outcomes: By examining how participatory social accountability may improve learning outcomes of disadvantaged children in remote areas of two LICs, through a series of complex processes associated with school management and teacher motivation, our study contributes to the ongoing debate about quality education by introducing a low-cost, easy to scale participatory method for CBSs management. Both SCA and NRSP education staff will be trained in depth to become facilitators of CBSD methods to conduct Group Model Building - a CBSD method- sessions with School Management Committees (SMCs). The intervention could potentially be scaled up in SMCs governing 516 schools and 61,500 students in Afghanistan 1820 schools and 84,541 students in Pakistan. Findings will be presented at meetings with representatives of ministries of education, UN agencies, NGOs working in the field of education and organisations of persons with disabilities in both countries as well as in international conferences and published in social science and economic journals.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Promoting dialogue between research and policy; UNESCO, Paris, Education Sector 
Organisation United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Department Education Sector
Country Global 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Building on previous work our research team has been collaborating with Inclusive Education focal points at UNESCO-Paris as well as UIS-Montreal in order to engage in ongoing discussions pertaining to education of children with disabilities. In November 2015 the PI presented the details of the ESRC-DFID research to the education sector programme officers in Paris. On 23rd-24th May 2016, the PI participated in a stakeholders meeting on Sustainable Development Goal 4 and related indicators with aim of drafting policy guidelines for inclusion in education At that time we discussed the implications of the present research to meaningfully inform policy debates. We have also initiated a collaboration with the UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS) in Montreal to ensure that the policy briefs from our research with regards to education for children with disabilities will be disseminated through the UIS office. We have present findings of the research at a brown bag discussion in October 2016 at UNESCO-Paris. UNESCO (Paris), UIS (Montreal) and UNESCO (Bangkok regional office) are advisors of the a new grant looking at social accountability mechanisms in community based schools of remote areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan has started in January 2018 under the ESRC DFID "Education and Development Raising learning outcomes in education systems" call. Finally, we are currently working on highlighting the work on inclusion in education at World Disability Day, 2018.
Collaborator Contribution Florence Migeon (Inclusive education focal point UNESCO-Paris) and Maki Hayashikawa (Inclusive and Quality Education, UNESCO Bangkok) are advisors on the research and provide inputs on the policy impact of the research.
Impact The PI was moderator for the ongoing WSIS-Community forum of inclusive education and provided a report to UNESCO summarising the findings in 2014. She has also been expert on devising Guideline on promoting inclusion in education for member states.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Promoting dialogue between research and policy; UNESCO, Paris, Education Sector 
Organisation United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Department Institute for Statistics
Country Global 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Building on previous work our research team has been collaborating with Inclusive Education focal points at UNESCO-Paris as well as UIS-Montreal in order to engage in ongoing discussions pertaining to education of children with disabilities. In November 2015 the PI presented the details of the ESRC-DFID research to the education sector programme officers in Paris. On 23rd-24th May 2016, the PI participated in a stakeholders meeting on Sustainable Development Goal 4 and related indicators with aim of drafting policy guidelines for inclusion in education At that time we discussed the implications of the present research to meaningfully inform policy debates. We have also initiated a collaboration with the UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS) in Montreal to ensure that the policy briefs from our research with regards to education for children with disabilities will be disseminated through the UIS office. We have present findings of the research at a brown bag discussion in October 2016 at UNESCO-Paris. UNESCO (Paris), UIS (Montreal) and UNESCO (Bangkok regional office) are advisors of the a new grant looking at social accountability mechanisms in community based schools of remote areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan has started in January 2018 under the ESRC DFID "Education and Development Raising learning outcomes in education systems" call. Finally, we are currently working on highlighting the work on inclusion in education at World Disability Day, 2018.
Collaborator Contribution Florence Migeon (Inclusive education focal point UNESCO-Paris) and Maki Hayashikawa (Inclusive and Quality Education, UNESCO Bangkok) are advisors on the research and provide inputs on the policy impact of the research.
Impact The PI was moderator for the ongoing WSIS-Community forum of inclusive education and provided a report to UNESCO summarising the findings in 2014. She has also been expert on devising Guideline on promoting inclusion in education for member states.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Reviewing evidence from LMIC on social exclusion in education, EPPI Centre, Institute of Education, UCL 
Organisation University College London
Department Thomas Coram Research Unit
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We submitted the protocol for peer review on 18th December 2015 and obtained feedback from the reviewers on 20th of February. The reviewers agreed that the systematic review was a complex project that entailed overlaps and intersections between very different data as well as the construction of new and innovative tools for appraisal of the evidence base that exists, We amended the protocol according to the feedback and submitted to EPPI on 2nd March 2016. We conducted several meeting with the EPPI team to help guide us through a complex process of reviewing evidence from various sources. After having taken steps to identify the body of evidence to review from various sources and have developed tools to appraise it in terms of policy relevance and conceptual innovations, we have submitted the draft report for review.
Collaborator Contribution EPPI Centre is providing methodological support to carry out and disseminate the findings of the review. They have also provided access to EPPI-REVIEWER 4 software in order to analyse the date for the review. They are currently reviewing the final report submitted for phase 1 of the review.
Impact We have submitted the final draft report to the EPPI team. The report will be available in open access on the EPPI website by end of 2016.
Start Year 2015
 
Description UNICEF and Handicap International Understanding inclusion of children with disabilities in schools in Sous Massa region of Morocco: transition from primary to secondary 
Organisation Handicap International
Country Global 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The overarching objective is to carry-out a diagnosis of education of children with disabilities at primary and secondary levels by identifying barriers and facilitators defined by the cultural and political environment, and to better analyse the transition processes. The study aims to analyse the factors favouring the transition from primary to secondary and the findings will allow us to put forth policy recommendations on inclusive education in primary school. The study is funded by UNICEF and carried out on the field by Handicap International and the Ministry of Education (Regional office in Agadir).
Collaborator Contribution The research was developed under the project "Building a model for an inclusive education system for boys and girls with disabilities in secondary education" and on the basis of a pilot project focussing on primary schools carried out in the Souss-Massa region of Morocco. This research aims to provide concrete information on the situation of children with disabilities within all primary and secondary schools in the region of Sous Massa. The research project is funded by UNICEF and is carried out on the field by Handicap International and the Ministry of Education regional office in Agadir. Parul Bakhshi is PI for this research and is working closely with the local partners for data analysis. The data was collected during May-June 2016 through two complementary tools: - A quantitative survey of all 729 primary schools and 148 secondary schools (6th and 7th years of schooling) in the region identifying the presence of disability, family status (parents' occupation, household size, clean room or shared) and attitudes and prejudice towards children with disabilities; - Qualitative data was collected through various materials: semi-structured interviews with teachers and principals, interviews with key informants to assess the vision, resources and skills of key stakeholders, and finally focus groups with groups of children (disabled or not) and their parents to understand the dynamics of groups and collective behaviour and individual behaviour as well as to the understanding of the link between disability and education. Data analysis includes various methods. First, for the quantitative survey, descriptive statistics will explore the following: the number of children with disabilities by gender, social status, disability type and severity, attitudes of different stakeholders (teachers, parents, other children). An estimate of the magnitude of children who dropout between primary and secondary is carried out using simple logistic regressions. The project started in late April 2016 and will end in October 2016.
Impact The reports will be presented to the Government Officials and UNICEF (Funding agency) on 10th October 2016. The full report and executive summary will be presented at official forum in Agadir and in Rabat. A summary of findings for children will also be presented.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Disseminating findings at the ESRC-DFID Impact Initiative event in New Delhi on 11th August 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Colleagues from University of Cambridge with support from the ESRC-DFID Impact Initiative, is holding a consultation in Delhi on 11 August which partner organisation, Cord, is organising. The consultation will focus on issues related to learning, teaching and disadvantage (with particular attention to disability) and involve policymakers, NGOs, key academics - including India-based ESRC-DFID RLO grantees.
The PI will disseminated the findings from India and Afghanistan through research briefs during this event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Expert on planning the 2019 meeting on 25 years after Salamanca 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The informal discussion tool place at UNESCO headquarters in Paris to devise a roadmap for planning the 25 years after Salamanca conference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Inclusive Education seminar in Agadir, Morocco (Handicap International, UNICEF) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact SEMINAR on Inclusive Education, Region of Sous Massadra, Morocco.
1. Meeting with the representatives of the AREF ( November 23 )
2. Meeting with AREF , UNICEF and Handicap International to agree on the objectives of the presentation and discussion for the seminar.
3. Meeting with stakeholders for organizing the seminar and discussions moderation ( November 25 )
4. Presentation of the International Benchmarks and Challenges in the field of inclusive education in the seminar ( November 26 )
• The end of the MDGs and the new odds ( new opportunities for inclusive education.
• Difficulties in collecting data on the situation of children in Handicap ( present research conducted over the last 10 years )
• To present some conclusions of our investigation Morocco 2013
• Conclude on major challenges common to several countries .
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Presentation and Discussion UNESCO, Paris 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact We conducted meetings with focal points of Inclusive Education at UNESCO, Paris (may 2015 and November 2015).
We are working to ensure that the findings from the research inform the on going discussions about SDG 4 on education of children with disabilities.
We are also planning an internship in inclusive education policy for a student from Washington University in St Louis to UNESCO headquarters.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Presentation of preliminary findings, UNICEF New York 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact We presented the preliminary findings from our data on education of children with disability at UNICEF headquarters on November 2nd, 2015. We outlined the aims of the research and discussed the policy implications.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Setting up of website to make all research related information open and accessible to all 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Through this web portal the research team explores the circumstances of social groups in low and middle income countries who are often forgotten in development initiatives. This website presents projects where our research has been interacting with vulnerable groups to identify their needs and aspirations and make all the material and reports emerging from the research available to a wide audience through various formats: policy briefs, working documents, tools, etc.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://sites.wustl.edu/globaldisability
 
Description Stakeholders Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact ESRC-DFID Raising Learning Outcomes Research Programme Knowledge Exchange Workshop: This was the opportunity to share the research progress with other funds from the same call.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017